We need to talk about data.
What was once a seemingly abstract concept used only in science fiction movies and software development textbooks has now become a sort of secondary currency in the world of business.
Data is a valuable resource that all organizations must tap into.
In effect, a company is a little data factory. Every interaction with a customer, every new product launch, every marketing strategy creates a wealth of data points and reports ripe and ready for analysis.
So, it’s not so much that we don’t have enough data; it’s just that some of us aren’t wielding that data correctly.
To succeed in the marketplace, you need to really know your customers and deliver them a truly intelligent experience.
No excuses now, roll up your sleeves, drill down into all that lovely data, and reap the rewards it brings.
The Bigger Picture
To really understand your customers and to move toward a truly intelligent experience, you need to combine the information we receive from a variety of different points, and use that data in your marketing campaigns.
IBM’s own experts identify four distinct categories for conventional analytics:
Journey focuses on how customers arrived at your store page. It also considers the number of visits they made and the devices they used.
Behavioral analyzes where in the process customers got stuck, which items they browsed without purchasing, and how many times they tried again.
Sentiment looks at how customers feel about their experience. What are they saying? What points do they care most about?
Predictive involves mapping out customers’ next moves. This is where you can decide how to re-engage them, and how to provide them with what they need.
Your organization needs to be collecting and analyzing data in all these areas and then combining it. This combined data can then be applied directly to each of your customer interactions going forward, achieving truly advanced customer intelligence.
Segmentation, or the Holistic Approach
With advanced customer intelligence comes enhanced ability. Now that you understand the different customers you are interacting with, you can tailor your approaches directly to each one.
This is segmentation – the process of dividing customers into categories and then targeting those categories with different campaigns.
Your customers don’t want to be bombarded with irrelevant ads, nor do they want to be on the receiving end of a blanket, off-the-peg marketing campaign.
Instead, they expect you to understand them, and to connect them with what they need.
The more categories you are able to manage, the better, although your ability to do this will come down to the resources at your disposal.
Gaining knowledge and deploying it holistically has been shown to be tremendously effective. Targeted ads are around twice as effective as blanket ads, and 60 percent of millennial customers said that they would hand over their data to marketers in exchange for offers or promotions.
Modern customers demand intelligence from the organizations they engage with. They demand knowledge, care, and tailored content and campaigns.
Make sure your data is working for you, and make sure you are offering all this and more to your clients.
This post originally appeared on THINK Marketing.